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Norwich City transfer rumours: Left-back set to join Tampa Bay Rowdies on loan

Caleb Richards in action for Norwich City U23s earlier this season Picture: Ian Burt

Caleb Richards in action for Norwich City U23s earlier this season Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Norwich City left-back Caleb Richards is understood to be training with Tampa Bay Rowdies ahead of a possible loan spell in the USA.

The Rowdies hosted Norwich during a week of warm weather training during the November international break of last year, allowing the Canaries to train at the Al Lang Stadium.

That link with the Florida club, who play in the second-tier United Soccer League, looks set to be strengthened by the 20-year-old former Blackpool player spending time on loan in Tampa.

Richards recently made seven appearances while on loan with National League North side FC United of Manchester and has made 18 appearances for City’s under-23s so far this season.

Richards made a brief League Cup debut appearance for Blackpool last season, during a 2-1 defeat at Wigan in the first round, and impressed in a Checkatrade Trophy win over Middlesbrough U21s in November 2017.

Norwich City trained at the Al Lang Stadium in Tampa during their warm weather break in November Picture: David FreezerNorwich City trained at the Al Lang Stadium in Tampa during their warm weather break in November Picture: David Freezer

That performance against Boro, playing at right-back, saw Richards win the third Checkatrade Player of the Round award of last season after setting up one of the goals with a cross in the 4-1 victory and making two goal-line clearances.

The Rowdies began pre-season training this week ahead of friendlies in February and the Canaries youngster is understood to have flown Stateside to join the squad, managed by former Sheffield United and Wolves defender Neil Collins.

Tampa finished 12th in the 16-team Eastern Conference last season, when they had former Chelsea and England midfielder Joe Cole in their squad, who has since retired.

The loan deal has not been confirmed by either club yet but the English transfer window is due to close at 11pm on Thursday.

Norwich City legends Adam Drury and Grant Holt caught up with Tampa Bay Rowdies head coach Neill Collins, who played for Wolves and Sheffield United, during the Canaries' open training session at the Al Lang Stadium Picture: David FreezerNorwich City legends Adam Drury and Grant Holt caught up with Tampa Bay Rowdies head coach Neill Collins, who played for Wolves and Sheffield United, during the Canaries' open training session at the Al Lang Stadium Picture: David Freezer

Richards is believed to be under contract until at least 2020 at Norwich and played the full 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Leicester City U23s in a Premier League Cup game on Monday of last week.

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